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Congressman John Ratcliffe

Representing the 4th District of Texas

Ratcliffe votes to halt the president’s ransom payments to Iran

September 23, 2016
Press Release

WASHINGTON – Rep. John Ratcliffe (R-Texas) voted this week to permanently prohibit the U.S. from making ransom payments or cash payments to Iran. The Prohibiting Future Ransom Payments to Iran Act (H.R. 5931), which passed in the House, clearly establishes that the Obama administration violated U.S. policy by paying ransom in exchange for the release of American hostages. Further, it forbids all cash payments to Iran in any currency and requires transparency on any future settlements of this kind.

“Americans were rightfully outraged when news broke that the Obama administration circumvented our nation’s longstanding policy of refusing to negotiate with terrorists when it made a $400 million cash payment to Iran in exchange for the release of American hostages – against the advice of its own Justice Department. Worse yet, this was only one chunk of a whopping $1.7 billion that was paid to the world’s leading state sponsor of terror – a decision made without input from senior Pentagon officials or Congress,” Ratcliffe said.

“Although the president refuses to come clean that his cash exchange with Iran constituted ransom, my colleagues and I have passed legislation that confirms just the opposite and prevents this type of reckless action from happening ever again. Just as I said in regard to the Iran nuclear deal – we cannot afford to play games with a country that has proven its desire to harm America and our allies. We must take our enemies at face value and fully recognize the threats they pose to the United States and the rest of the free world.”

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